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Privacy policy

1. Who we are

From humble beginnings, Woodgreen has grown into one of the UK’s largest pet charities. Our vision is of a world where all pets are well cared for in loving homes for life. To achieve this, we not only provide care for pets in need, but also help people become the best pet owners they can be.

Woodgreen Animal Shelter trading as Woodgreen Pets Charity (charity no. 298348) (company no. 02073930) has its head office at Kings Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, PE29 2NH.
Woodgreen is registered as a data controller on the UK Data Protection Register (registration number Z6545728).

2. How we look after your data

We’re committed to our vision of ensuring all pets are well cared for in loving homes for life. We take the same careful approach when it comes to protecting your privacy and respecting any information you share with us.

This Privacy Notice explains how and why we use your personal information.  It applies to all personal data gathered when you engage with Woodgreen as a supporter, volunteer, service user or as an enquirer. If you have any questions about what’s detailed here or want to know more about how we’re making privacy a priority, please get in touch via these details – we want to make sure you are comfortable with how we manage your personal information.

3. Why we collect your data

As a charity, it is important for Woodgreen to be able to collect your data to process your enquiries, donations, and any other interactions you may have with us. We need information to ensure we offer the highest level of support to people and their pets and to provide the best possible service. We rely on continued donor interest, monetary contributions and your goodwill.

The main purposes for gathering your personal information are for: pet services, pet support and volunteering; for marketing activities; and for fundraising and transaction processing.

4. Types of personal data we collect

Here is a list of the types of information we collect from you, depending on your interaction with us:

  • Your first name or initial, and surname.
  • Your email address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your postal address.
  • Your year of birth for validation purposes.
  • Your transaction ID.
  • Your Gift Aid declaration.
  • A record of our communications with you.
  • Your communication preferences.
  • Your giving history.
  • Your browsing history (see section: Information from your devices (automatically)).
  • Your interests, and reasons for your support.
  • Your enquiry about a pet or our services.
  • Information collected as part of our rehoming service, such as details relating to your personal circumstances.
  • Information about your pet, such as their behaviour, medical conditions and treatments as part of the gifting process.
  • Your next of kin details, such as when you are participating in a Challenge Event.
  • Limited medical information if you are taking part in an event (e.g. if you are an asthma sufferer).  This is deleted when the event is over.
  • Photography, transcripts and videography, such as images at events, case studies and other marketing materials.


5. Where does this information come from?

Most of the personal data we process is given to us directly by our supporters, customers and volunteers in the course of any interactions with us.

This data can be collected:

  • Online – information you provide when making an enquiry or donation and information we collect from your devices using cookies.
  • Post or phone – when donating or enquiring about our services.
  • Via third parties – information you provide face-to-face through professional fundraisers.

How your information is collected online

We collect personal information from you when you visit our website, interact with us via a social media platform using a smartphone or computer (for example, by storing your account information), and when you directly contact us.  For more information, see the Cookies Section.

Information you provide

When you use our website to make an enquiry, volunteer, register for an event, access pet services, or making a donation, you’ll need to give us some details, so we can do what you’ve asked us to do.

Similarly, if you make an enquiry, want to register as a volunteer, or make a donation by telephone or post, you’ll need to share some basic information about yourself.

Usually this will include:

  • Your first name or initial, and surname.
  • Your email address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your postal address.
  • Your payment details if you’re donating.

We don’t store any of your payment details either online or through cheques. Instead, we’re given a transaction ID by our payment processor to complete the transfer, or the cheque is banked without your bank details being stored.

Information from your devices (automatically)

When you browse our website or our social media platforms, your device will exchange information with these platforms to ensure you have the best experience when navigating.

Our platforms may pick up the following:

  • IP (Internet Protocol) address: your IP address indicates your location, unless you are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service.
  • MAC (Media Access Control) address: this is a unique identifier assigned by the manufacturer of your device.
  • Device: what type of device you are using (smart TV, smartphone, laptop, desktop).
  • OS (operating system): what operating system your device has (IOS, Android, Windows, Linux, MAC OS X).
  • Browser type and browser version: which web browser you are using (Internet Explorer/Edge, Opera, Chrome, Safari, Firefox).
  • Domain: depending on your device and browser settings, we sometimes identify the web address of the domain you came from before landing on our platforms.
  • Clickstream data: this is a list of all of our web pages that you visited, and the order you viewed them in, on each visit to We also record how much time you spend on each web page and record any actions you make on each page.
  • Cookies: these are small text files that our website places on your device, so that our website can remember something about you and optimise the website for your visit. There are also some third-party cookies we place on your device. For more information on the specific cookies that we use and their function, please see our Cookie Policy

How your Information is collected by post and by phone

If you call or write to our Fundraising, Supporter Care or Pet Services Teams, we may collect the following information about you:

  • Your first name or initial, and surname.
  • Your email address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your postal address.
  • Your transaction ID.

How your information is collected by third parties

Sometimes we will obtain your personal information from third-party data suppliers, but only if they provide the appropriate evidence that you have agreed for your personal information to be shared with us.

Usually this will include:

  • Your first name or initial, and surname.
  • Your email address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • Your postal address.
  • Your transaction ID.

You should check any Privacy Policy provided to you where you give your data to a third party.

6. How we use your data

In simple terms, your personal data may be used to help us effectively deliver our charitable services or raise funds for those charitable services, and/or deliver the best service for a pet.

Woodgreen will never sell your data to third party companies or organisations. The only instance where we will share your data is with carefully selected and screened subcontractors for marketing, fundraising, and business insight purposes. Please see the Disclosing your information section for more information.

How we use your data for these purposes will depend on the nature of our relationship with you. Below are some examples.

Rehoming a pet

Registered to rehome a pet

  • To provide you with aftercare services.
  • To communicate with you regarding the wider work of Woodgreen, and how you might support us.

Bringing in a pet

  • If you have brought a pet to Woodgreen to be rehomed.
  • To register details of a lost or found pet for the purposes of reuniting owners.
  • To register details of pet ownership linked to microchipping pets.
  • Reporting a lost or found pet.
  • To enable us to meet the relevant legal requirements where they apply to animals brought into our care.


  • To enable us to recruit volunteers and foster carers.
  • To support and train volunteers and ensure their safety.
  • To enable us to communicate with volunteers regarding their volunteering work, the wider work of Woodgreen and how they might support in other ways.

Marketing and fundraising

  • To send you marketing information including our Pets Matter magazine, updates about our animals, general information about rehoming, volunteering and various ways you can support Woodgreen, including fundraising events such as road shows or community events.
  • To efficiently raise the fundraising income to enable us to help more pets find loving homes.
  • To manage, facilitate and record financial transactions associated with fundraising.
  • To manage events and fundraising activities.
  • To ensure that as many supporters as possible maximise the value of their donation through Gift Aid.


  • If you have got in touch with us about leaving us a legacy, we will manage and administer your legacy pledge.


  • To process registration fees (sometimes through third-party websites) and administer events.
  • To collect and store images and videography with the purposes to promote future fundraising events.


  • We will survey portions of our supporter database periodically to find out more about your experience of dealing with Woodgreen, how you use our services, and how we can improve our service delivery to you. We will not confuse this with marketing or promotional messages.

Segmentation, profiling and wealth screening

  • We use segmentation techniques to better understand our supporters and allow us to send you messages and marketing tailored to you.  We also use it to find more people like you who share our vision of pets being well cared for in loving homes for life.
  • An important component in finding new Woodgreen supporters is profiling your personal data. We aggregate elements of your personal data such as age band, location, email and gender and match this data against other sources to find similar profile individuals.  We will sometimes bring in additional demographic data to enhance the information we have on you from third-party organisations. This information could be household composition, number of cars or socio-economic grouping, for example.
  • We may also carry out wealth screening to fast track our research using trusted third-party partners.  As a fundraising organisation, we undertake in-house research and from time to time engage specialist agencies to gather information about our audiences from publicly available sources, for example, Companies House, the Electoral Register, company websites, ‘rich lists’, social networks such as LinkedIn, political and property registers and news archives. We may also carry out research using publicly available information to identify individuals who may have an affinity to our cause but with whom we are not already in touch.
  • We also use publicly available sources to carry out due diligence on donors in line with the charity’s Gift Acceptance Policy and to meet money laundering regulations.  This research helps us to understand more about you as an individual so we can focus conversations we have with you about fundraising and volunteering in the most effective way, and ensure that we provide you with an experience as a donor or potential donor which is appropriate for you.

If you do not want Woodgreen to use your personal data in this way, you can opt out of profiling at any time by contacting our Supporter Relations team on:

Phone: 0300 303 9876 (and select option 3)


Post: Supporter Relations Team, Woodgreen Pets Charity, King’s Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire PE29 2NH

7. Filming and photography at events

Please note that Woodgreen (or our authorised service providers) or our commercial partners may film or photograph participants, volunteers and spectators attending or taking part in events.

We will use this footage, or photographs, to publicise the event for our general charitable, commercial and/or fundraising purposes including, but not limited to: television broadcasts, advertising, publications, marketing material, marketing our products, merchandising, social media, personalised direct mail and other media that may be made available to the public. We may also use it to enable our commercial partners to publicise their involvement and/or association with the event.

No personal details (including names) of any under 16-year-old participants will be used in any publicity materials without the written consent of their parent or legal guardian, but we may use images where children are incidentally included (for example, images of mass participation in the warm-up exercises, or on the starting line).

8. How the law applies to Woodgreen

From 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applied to our collection and use of your personal data. Now that Britain has left the EU, data protection law has been converted into UK domestic law.  This means that the GDPR has been retained in UK law and will continue to be read alongside the Data Protection Act 2018, with technical amendments to ensure it can function in UK law.  Under UK GDPR Woodgreen is required to have a legal basis for processing for both collecting and using your personal data. We use the following legal bases for processing: Consent, Legitimate Interest, Contract, & Legal Obligation.

Woodgreen will only process your personal information if any of the following apply:


In some cases, we will rely on consent, for example, to send you or make marketing and fundraising emails, phone calls and text messages; or to use your image or a case study about you.

Legitimate interest

Under GDPR, Woodgreen will use this legal basis for processing, if we feel that the use of personal data is legitimately in the interests of the charity, provided there is no disproportionate impact of our activities on you.

This legal ground for processing means that we can process your personal information if we have a genuine and legitimate reason for doing so, and that reason is not overridden by your rights and interests as an individual.


In some cases, we will contact you under the legal bases for processing under Contract. For example, when you support Woodgreen by completing a Direct Debit form, rehome a pet with us, or enquire about our services.

Legal obligation

Sometimes we may have a legal obligation to process information about you – for example, we are obliged to keep financial records including Gift Aid for six years. We are required to notify the local dog wardens about strays that come into our care, and we’re also required to keep a record of your communication preferences, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

9. Disclosing your information

Woodgreen uses carefully selected and screened subcontractors to assist in the management and structure of business information for transaction processing, marketing and business insight purposes. The information the subcontractors process includes the personal information we gather about you and your service use, transaction and online history with us. By ‘marketing’ we mean the specific purposes outlined in the Marketing Activities section of this document

Woodgreen will ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to third parties, unless otherwise permitted under the statements below:

  • You have given consent.
  • Under legitimate interest, where we feel that the use of personal data is legitimately in the interests of Woodgreen, provided there is no disproportionate impact of our activities on you.
  • Where disclosure is required to allow a requested service to be provided.
  • Where Woodgreen is legally obliged to disclose the data (e.g. in relation to a Charity Commission inspection or inquiry, police investigations, under a court order etc), or
  • Where disclosure of data is required for the performance of a contract.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal information and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal information for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal information for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions. Some of our partners run their operations outside of the EEA (European Economic Area) and this may include countries who have different data protection laws. We will always take steps to make sure appropriate protections are in place (in accordance with UK data protection law) and that information is safeguarded.

10. How long we store your information

If you made a donation to Woodgreen: we will keep the information you gave us and details of your donation, for up to seven years from the date of the last transaction with us.

If you expressed interest in or leave a legacy to Woodgreen: we will keep the information you gave us and details of your planned gift until notified of the gift, or until you change your instruction.

If you enquired about or used Woodgreen Pet Services: we will keep the information we have on you as an enquirer/user of this service for up to twenty years, which reflects how long your pet(s) might live. After that time, your personal data will be anonymised, and we will keep your enquiry/service use details and communications history.

If you wrote to us: we will keep any correspondence with you for six years, although we may keep this information longer if your correspondence is a complaint.

In these cases, we’ll only retain data that is necessary for these purposes, and we will delete or anonymise other parts of the record. In some cases, there will be a need to keep your data longer:

  • If you’ve signed up for our Pet Promise scheme we will keep your data for a longer period, due to the fact that we have promised to look after your pet if you no longer are able to.
  • For the purpose of recognising a Legacy Gift, as this could take decades until the gift reaches us. Further to this if the legacy gift is contested, we need to evidence the history between the legator and Woodgreen.
  • For the purpose of analysis to ensure that we can spot trends and adjust our business objectives to deliver a better service.

If you decide you no longer wish to hear from us, we’ll need to keep a note of that on our suppression list indefinitely.

If you’d like more information on our retention policy, please contact us.

11. Data security

Woodgreen exercise the same commitment to your data as we do to the pets in our care. Personal information we collect is stored and encrypted within our secure UK/EU IT infrastructure to provide the highest level of security.

Any time we transfer personal information within our organisation or to our subcontractors, we use an HTTPS secure connection, so the transfer of data is encrypted and safe. We only grant access to one of our subcontractors when there is an absolute need, and our ‘Privacy by Design’ approach means we always have privacy and security in mind when updating our policies. Privacy by Design is an information management standard that seeks to anonymise personal data held in commercial databases to further protect that information. Find out more about Privacy by Design.

12. Your Data Protection rights

You’re legally entitled to this information under the UK GDPR and the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation. You can also object to Woodgreen processing your data – either automatically or otherwise – if it’s causing you distress, or if the information is inaccurate, or if you object to the marketing messages, or if you would simply like it removed from our IT infrastructure.

Your rights regarding your personal data are:

  • The right to access a copy of your personal information that we hold.
  • The right to object to our processing of your personal data, if our doing so causes you distress.
  • The right to prevent Woodgreen processing your data for direct marketing purposes.
  • The right to object to decisions being taken using automated means that includes your personal data.
  • Your right to have inaccurate personal data rectified, or destroyed.
  • Your right to have your data erased from our IT infrastructure
  • The right to data portability.
  • The right to be informed.

The Information Commissioner remains the UK’s independent advisory authority on data protection.  You can find out more about your personal data rights in the UK from the Office of the Information Commissioner,

13. What to do if you are not happy

In the first instance, please talk to us directly so we can help resolve any problem or query.

You can reach our Supporter Relations team on:

Phone: 0300 303 9876 (and select option 3)


Post: Supporter Relations Team, Woodgreen Pets Charity, King’s Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire PE29 2NH

You can also register with the fundraising preference service (FPS). This service is run by the Fundraising Regulator and allows you to stop email, telephone, addressed post, and/or text messages from a selected charity or charities by using the online service at or by calling 0300 303 3517. Once you have made a request through the FPS, we will ensure that your new preferences take effect within 28 days.

You also have the right to contact the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if you have any concerns about Data Protection using their helpline 0303 123 1113 or at

14. Who to contact about your information

You can always request a copy of all your personal information that we store, free of charge, any time by writing to:

The Data Protection Officer, Woodgreen Animal Services, Kings Bush Farm, London Road, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire PE29 2NH.

Or email:

15. Notification of changes to this Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy may change from time to time. For example, we will continue to update it to reflect new legal requirements. Please visit this website page to keep up to date with the changes to our Privacy Policy.

Latest update: January 2021

16. Cookie Policy

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several
    times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it
    for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s
    enough capacity to ensure they are fast

We use a cookies tool on our website to gain consent for the optional cookies we use. Cookies that are necessary for functionality, security and accessibility are set and are not deleted by the tool.

Managing your cookie settings

When you arrive on Woodgreen’s website for the first time, you’ll be presented with a pop-up window. This will give you two options: ‘Accept all cookies’ or ‘Let me choose’. Unless you are happy to accept all, click on ‘Let me choose’. This will take you to a second step where you can select your preferences for each group of cookies. Here you can decide whether to opt-in or opt-out of performance cookies, functional cookies and targeting cookies.

Types of cookies

Strictly necessary cookies – are set by default and you cannot opt-out of these. They are required to help operate the site without disrupting your experience.
Performance cookies – collect information about how users interact with our website over time, so we can analyse user behaviour and make it better for you to use. All information collected is anonymous.
Functionality cookies – help improve your experience on our site, by remembering your preferences so you don’t have to select them again.
Targeting cookies – are a selection of third party cookies used to track any advertising you may have seen before visiting our website.

After making your choices, click the ‘Save choices’ button and you can then continue browsing Woodgreen’s website. You will not see the cookie preferences pop-up again when you return to the page.

Changing your mind

If you want to change your cookies preferences after you have made your selections, you can do this at any time by clicking the link ‘Open cookie settings’ in the footer of any page on the website, or by clicking this link here.

Managing your browser settings

Most web browsers allow some control of the majority of cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about managing cookies on your web browser, including how to see what cookies have been set, visit or

Still need help? Learn more about how to manage cookies on popular browsers:

If your browser is not listed above, please visit the browser developer’s website for more information.

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites, visit

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